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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Late Sunday

Prediction: PHI 23, DAL 24

The Eagles need to win here to secure the #2 seed and get a first round bye. If they lose, they slip back to wildcard status. The Cowboys can win the NFC East with a win here but cannot win the #2 seed. The Eagles have won six straight but lost in Philadelphia to the Cowboys 16-20 in week nine. The Cowboys have won their last two including knocking off the Saints which was a bigger deal before the Buccaneers also did it.

This should be one of the best games of the weekend.

Philadelphia Eagles (11-4))
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @CAR 38-10 -2.5 43.5
2 NO 22-48 -3 46.5
3 KC 34-14 -9.5 42.5
4 BYE -    
5 TB 33-14 -16 42
6 @OAK 9-13 -14 40.5
7 @WAS 27-17 -7 37.5
8 NYG 40-17 -1 43
9 DAL 16-20 -3 47.5
10 @SD 23-31 +1 47
11 @CHI 24-20 -3.5 46.5
12 WAS 27-24 -9.5 40.5
13 @ATL 34-7 -4 43.5
14 @NYG 45-38 -1 42.5
15 SF 27-13 -7 41
16 DEN 30-27 -7 43
17 @DAL - +3 47.5
PHI at DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Donovan McNabb     300,2
RB LeSean McCoy 40 20  
RB Brian Westbrook 40    
TE Brent Celek   50,1  
WR DeSean Jackson   80  
WR Jason Avant   40  
WR Jeremy Maclin   70,1  
PK David Akers 3 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Eagles have been the hottest NFC team lately but losing center Jamaal Jackson now hurts the offensive line. Jackson has played in the last 71 games for the Eagles. But Brian Westbrook has returned and the offense has scored at least 24 points in each of the last six games. The Eagles have won in Dallas as recently as 2007 but this will take an nearly error-free effort.

Quarterback: Donovan McNabb has scored in each of the last ten games with multiple scores in half of them. His yardage has been above 240 per game for almost the last two months and he logged over 300 yards in each of the last two games - albeit at home.

McNabb passed for 227 yards and one score when the Cowboys visited Philly in week nine. The Cowboys allow at least one passing score to almost every opponent but never more than two to any team. With the Cowboys weaker against the pass than the run, I like McNabb to pick up the second passing score and have healthy yardage.

Running Backs: Now that Brian Westbrook has returned, it has removed all fantasy value here. Westbrook took nine carries for 32 yards against the Broncos while LeSean McCoy had six runs for 27 yards and even Leonard Weaver had seven runs for 20 yards. That's nearly a one-third split all around and there is not nearly the rushing numbers here to support one player let alone three.

Back in week nine, McCoy rushed for 54 yards on 13 carries and Weaver added eight runs for 33 yards in the loss to the Cowboys. Westbrook was out injured that week.

The Cowboys have been outstanding against the run in Dallas and only allowed two runners to score there. Do not expect any significant numbers from the Philly runners this week.

Wide Receivers: DeSean Jackson now has the unique honor of being invited to the Pro Bowl as a receiver and again as a special teams returner. He has richly earned the distinction with ten touchdowns this season and one each in the last five games. Jackson already has five games over 100 receiving yards. Jackson was held to only 29 yards on two catches against the Cowboys who were playing him deep. Jackson has since expanded his repertoire of routes and should see more success this time. Jeremy Maclin returned last week and put up 92 yards on six catches against the Broncos. He has only scored four times this year but has consistently been above 60 yards in his last five games played. Maclin only managed 44 yards on three catches against the Cowboys last time.

The Cowboys will commit to stopping Jackson and were successful last time. Maclin should see some success here though and is more likely to score. Of course with Jackson, all it takes is one catch and he can have 80 yards and a score.

Tight Ends: Brent Celek just gets more and more involved in the offense. He has scored in three of the last four games and has topped 100 yards in three games this year. Celek had a score against the Cowboys in week nine when he caught three passes for 39 yards. Celek is even more involved and should have a bigger game this time.

Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 3 21 11 10 1 1
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 17 8 17 14 4 6

Dallas Cowboys (10-5)
Homefield: Cowboys Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @TB 34-21 -5 39
2 NYG 31-33 -3 43.5
3 CAR 21-7 -9 46
4 @DEN 10-17 -3 43
5 @KC 26-20 -9 42.5
6 BYE - - -
7 ATL 37-21 -5.5 47.5
8 SEA 38-17 -10 46
9 @PHI 20-16 +3 47.5
10 @GB 7-17 -3 48
11 WAS 7-6 -11 41.5
12 OAK 24-7 -13.5 40.5
13 @NYG 24-31 -1 45.5
14 SD 17-20 -3.5 48.5
15 @NO 24-17 +7.5 53.5
16 @WAS 17-0 -7 42
17 PHI - -3 47.5
DAL vs PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo     270,2
RB Marion Barber 60,1    
RB Felix Jones 50 10  
TE Jason Witten   50  
WR Roy Williams   70  
WR Patrick Crayton   40,1  
WR Miles Austin   90,1  
PK Shaun Suisham 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Cowboys were on yet another December crumble with losses to the Giants and Chargers but then took down the Saints in New Orleans and then shutout the Skins last week. Now they have a chance to reclaim the NFC East crown and even secure a homefield for the first round. Lose here and they are 2-3 in December and on the road as a wildcard.

Quarterback: Tony Romo has been playing much better in recent weeks and while he has scored in each of the last 11 games, he only has four interceptions in that time and never more than one per week. With 4172 yards as of this week, he should end up with career high yardage with just 40 passing yards this week. His seven 300 yard games match his previous best in 2007.

Romo passed for 307 yards and one score in Philly this year.

The Eagles have allowed road opponents to pass for 235+ yards and two scores in most games. The Eagles allowed three scores in two of the last three weeks. Expect moderate to good yardage here with two touchdowns.

Running Backs: Felix Jones has rushed for over 50 yards in each of the last three games and added a catch or two as well. Marion Barber went six weeks without a score but then had three over the last two games with around 60 rush yards in each.

Back in week nine, Barber ran for 50 yards in Philly while Jones was held to only ten yards.

The Cowboys are running the ball better now but the Eagles are better than most. Expect just average numbers here but one rushing score for Barber.

Wide Receivers: Miles Austin injured his thumb last week but x-rays were negative and he is expected to play this week. He also was just invited to the Pro Bowl with his 11 touchdowns and 1230 yards. Austin is the Dallas equivalent of DeSean Jackson only without the punt return theatrics. Roy Williams has taken a back seat to Austin but still has posted seven scored and 596 yards so far.

Back in week nine, Austin only had one catch but it went for a 49 yard touchdown. Williams had 75 yards on five catches in that game. Both passing scores should end up with a wideout. Austin should net one and the other favors Patrick Crayton more than Williams.

Tight Ends: Jason Witten may disappear near the end zone but he just turned in his third 100 yard game in the last five weeks. Witten had seven catches for 43 yards in the last meeting with the Eagles.

Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 11 16 10 5 19 24
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 18 10 8 31 14 8

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